Economy and Jobs

Economy and Jobs

Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

We have an unfair economic system that gives access to opportunity to some, while leaving so many others behind. When 39,000 military service members, veterans, and their families rely on the food banks in San Diego County every month, and 40 percent of San Diego’s children under 12 years of age are living in families under 200 percent of the poverty line, we know that our economy isn’t working the way it needs to. Make no mistake, the inequalities in our current economic system didn’t happen by accident. They are the result of a concerted, long-term effort by powerful special interests – and the Members of Congress they bankroll – to write the rules in a way that benefit themselves. There are a few things we can do to start to fix this:
 
First, we need to roll back the harmful provisions in the Republican tax bill that are raising costs for middle-class families in California. Instead, we need a tax system that values labor and work as much as, if not more, than shareholders and passive income.
 
Second, we need to do more to empower workers and grow wages and benefits. Every major corporation and industry has a team in Washington that works the halls of Congress every single day, looking for ways to tilt the scales in their favor in order to increase profits. The only counterbalance to that force – the only strong, reliable, and dedicated voice on behalf of working people in America – is organized labor. Virtually every protection that workers in America have, from pensions to paid family leave, tie back to the labor movement.  We need more union jobs and more support for organized labor in America. 
 
We can accomplish that by making sure that workers are able to organize; standing against attacks on Davis Bacon, designed to protect contractors and subcontractors; and ensuring that Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) are built into federally funded projects. I support a national $15 minimum wage, protections for tipped workers, and passing the domestic workers bill of rights, so all workers are covered under our country’s labor laws.
 
We also have to make sure that our seniors can retire in dignity. Twenty percent of seniors in California rely on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income. As more and more people retire without the benefit of a pension, that number is going to grow. Two-thirds of workers don’t contribute to a 401(k), either because their employer doesn’t offer one or because they are living paycheck-to-paycheck. So, we have to protect, expand, and strengthen Social Security, not let Republicans treat it like a rainy-day fund.
 
And finally, we need to make our economy more equitable and fairer overall. We need to make sure financial institutions are, at their core, serving their central purpose: investing in new businesses. That’s why I am interested in ways the Federal Reserve could incentivize greater capital to be made available to small- and medium-sized enterprises.